The return of TV's biggest shows, including the NCIS franchise and Blue Bloods, will provide a sense of normalcy for fans next month.
But CBS has now confirmed that most of its scripted series will air "abbreviated" seasons due to the late start and new production costs related to COVID-19 protocols. As Deadline reports, rather than the usual 22-episode seasons, expect to see between 16-18 episodes of scripted series returning to CBS this fall.
New seasons of NCIS, Blue Bloods, SEAL Team and more affected
The CBS shows affected by the late start and new production costs include: NCIS, NCIS: L.A., NCIS: New Orleans, Blue Bloods, SEAL Team, Bull, Magnum P.I., and The Neighborhood. These are the confirmed episode counts, according to Deadline:
- NCIS - 16
- NCIS: L.A. - 18
- NCIS: New Orleans - 16
- Blue Bloods - 16
- Magnum P.I. - 16
- SEAL Team - 16
- Bull - 16
- The Neighborhood - 18
The industry news outlet adds that CBS is still in discussions with shows produced by other studios — such as Young Sheldon and S.W.A.T. — but the expectation is they will also settle in the 16-18 episode range.
CBS start dates for NCIS begin in November 2020
Due to limitations of the pandemic, CBS kicked off its Fall 2020 TV season without virtually all its scripted shows. Most are now set for early and mid-November premieres, a schedule you can click here to see.
The two-month delay, compounded by new production costs, will shorten the new seasons by around 25 percent. Though fewer episodes doesn't come as good news for fans, seeing new seasons in 2020 is still a welcome and highly-anticipated event.
The previous seasons of most shows were also cut a few episodes short as a result of the pandemic in March. For the latest on NCIS, check out:
NCIS: What to expect in the 400th episode special and the new agent in season 18.
NCIS: LA: - New "Hetty" preview and Daniela Ruah's special episode reveal.